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Paco Rabanne Phantom Review

Paco Rabanne Phantom Review

Paco Rabanne is known for not just his crazy bottles, but also some of the most out-there, head-turning scents. Let’s see how Phantom eau de toilette stacks up and if it’s worth a purchase.

Brand & Perfume History

Paco Rabanne started his brand in 1966. He became well-known throughout the fashion industry for his creative use of materials and ‘out-there’ designs. It wasn’t long before the brand moved into fragrances and they released their first fragrance in 1969.

Paco Rabanne really started to make a dent in the fragrance industry when the brand released a range of now iconic fragrances such as one Million, Invictus, and the Ultra Violet collection. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength and have become known for unique bottle designs.

Perfume Story

Paco Rabanne wanted to create a futuristic fragrance that defied current fragrance norms. He set out hiring 4 of the biggest names in perfumery – Dominique Ropion, Juliette Karagueuzoglou, Doc Long, and Anne Flipo – and set to work creating a domineering fragrance for men. He also enlisted the help of AI in the composition, which was a first for the fragrance industry.

The end result is Phantom, a fragrance that takes sweeter facets and combines them with brighter and woody notes. The fragrance uses high-tech notes such as Lavender 3.0, a vintage molecule, and more to boost the wearers’ self-confidence.

The success of phantom saw a few special editions being released and a version for women, called Fame.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

Bottle design and presentation are one of the aspects where Paco Rabanne smashes it out of the park. Some people hate the gaudy bottles, but others like the fact they stand out. Phantom is no exception here.

You’ve got a bottle that’s literally a little silver robot. It will 100% stand out wherever you put it. The bottle also has a built-in piece of tech that allows it to interact with an app, which is a first. The sprayer is also fantastic and there are no qualms there.

If you like unique bottle designs and want something that people will definitely comment on when they see it, Phantom eau de toilette should really perk up your interest.

Our Thoughts

Phantom is a fragrance that has totally divided the community. You have the people on one side who think it’s uninspired and immature. The other side of the spectrum has die-hard fans of the fragrance.

I’m more on the side of liking the fragrance. It has its immature elements, sure. It’s incredibly sweet. But it smells really, really good if you like sweeter frags. It’s also super strong and a compliment magnet – people will definitely notice how you smell. It’s a very loud fragrance that announces your presence in a shouty way.

Whilst it’s nothing groundbreaking, I feel like it’s an easy choice if you want to smell good and be noticed.

How many sprays are required?

Paco Rabanne Phantom eau de toilette is VERY loud and strong. Unless you’re wearing it to an outdoor event in winter, you want to be taking it easy on the sprays. 2-3 sprays will cover almost all situations where you need to be noticed but not scream your presence. Office wear would call for even fewer sprays – maybe 1-2.


Top Notes


Lemon Zest

Italian Lemon

The opening of Paco Rabanne Phantom is very bright. They’ve gone for what the brand calls energizing lemon – which seems to be a combo of very zingy lemon zest and juicy Italian lemon. This opening is quite sharp so prepare your nose for that. You have the lavender cutting through as well adding a bit of spiciness, but you’ll mainly get the lemon,

Heart Notes




Earthy Notes


The opening of Phantom dissipates very quickly and the middle of the fragrance starts to cut in. You’ve got the spicy lavender carrying through from the opening, with just a touch of added sweetness thanks to the apple.

The patchouli is earthy and the added earthy facets help steer this masculine. Finally, the smoke is very subdued and barely detectable over the other notes.

Base Notes




Finally, after about an hour the wonderful base kicks in. The woody vanilla base of Phantom is the real attraction to the scent – it does the woody vanilla vibe incredibly well.

You’ll find a very smooth and delectable vanilla that sticks to the skin alongside a hint of spicy lavender. The vetiver is a really nice touch that adds a backbone to the base. To me, it isn’t too sweet but many people may find the dry down sickly and cloying – especially if you aren’t used to strong sweet dry downs.



The sillage of Paco Rabanne is a monster. You’ll be gassing people out in a small room if you go a bit overboard with the sprays, so you want to be taking it easier on that trigger if this is your day-to-day scent. You’ll leave a sweet and bright trail wherever you go for a good few hours upon spraying.


The longevity of Phantom eau de toilette is moderate. With decent skin chemistry, you’re getting around 4-5 hours, with it being a skin scent after that. The longevity of Phantom is quite surprising for how strong it is – I’d honestly have expected it to last longer. Either way, you’re going to have most situations covered.


The projection for Phantom eau de toilette is also stellar. It fires off of you for most of its life and people will be able to smell you coming. This incredible projection slowly softens up until you’re just left with a nice skin scent.

Target Market

Paco Rabanne Phantom eau de toilette feels like it’s aimed at a younger audience, so between 21-30. It’s incredibly sweet and bright. An older gentleman – or even a woman – could still pull this off though, if they like sweeter fragrances.

When to Wear

Phantom is absolutely perfect for colder weather. The sweet notes are really punctuated in the cold and it also helps it to last. You can get away with Phantom as a signature scent since many people (especially women) find the scent alluring. If you want to wear this as a signature scent though you’re going to have to use a suitable amount of sprays since it’s so strong.

Date nights and events are also great places to give Phantom eau de toilette wear. It’s so strong, quite sexy, and striking. It will get noticed, making you stand apart and memorable.

You definitely don’t want to wear this in the heat. It’s so sweet that the heat simply makes Phantom cloying almost right away.


Unfortunately, Phantom isn’t that unique. There has been a spate of similar-smelling fragrances that all got released around the same date. This means that whilst you’re wearing this you may bump into someone who has a scent on that gives the same vibe. All in all, It’s not terribly unique but what it does do it does quite well.

Value For Money

Phantom eau de toilette comes in an ok deal when it comes to value for money. For its strength, it’s actually quite good value. You can find it readily available at online discounters – a quick search netted me a 200ml bottle for around $90/£75. This will last you a very, very long time because it’s so strong.

Purchasing it from an online discounter makes it much better value for money. Without getting any sort of discount, I’d say Paco Rabanne Phantom is just average value.

Pros & Cons


  • Extremely strong
  • Alluring sweet scent
  • Great value at discounters
  • Unique bottle
  • Very good sprayer


  • Not that unique
  • Can be cloying
  • Can be too sweet for some people

Similar Perfumes

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal pour Homme

Scandal was released around the same time as Phantom and was seen as it’s biggest competition. It has almost the same vibe with some different ingredients, albeit the opening is a bit more coconutty. It’s also super strong and around the same price, so if you’re after a slightly more exotic feel then give Scandal a shot.

Paco Rabanne One Million Parfum

A very underrated sleeper hit, one Million Parfum is another release from Paco Rabanne. It’s got a much cleaner scent profile than Phantom but is just as strong. A great pick if you want the sweetness toned down a little and a little more maturity.

Our Verdict

Paco Rabanne Phantom eau de toilette is an easy signature scent if you like loud sweet fragrances. Many people love the dry down and it does the vanilla & woods base perfectly. The only real downside is some people will find it too sweet. If it sounds like your cup of tea, be sure to get your hands on a sample before you purchase.

0/5 Bottle
0/5 Sillage
0/5 Longevity
0/5 Projection
0/5 Price

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